|One of the greatest literary masterpieces in all of literature is Psalm 119. The content is divinely inspired to be sure, but there is something in the construct we need to recognize. Psalm 119 is what is known as an octad acrostic. Acrostics are specific to the Hebrew portions of the Bible and there are a few in the Psalms, including Psalm 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145. Proverbs 31:10-31 and Lamentations 1-4 are also acrostics.
An acrostic is the sequential use of the letters of the alphabet in a poem or story. What makes Psalm 119 unique and a literary masterpiece is that the divinely inspired author used each letter of the Hebrew alphabet 8 times to begin a sentence before moving to the next letter, then that letter 8 times, and so on. The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet repeated 8 times each make up the 176 verses of Psalm 119.This masterpiece of construct is also a masterpiece of content. Over and over Psalm 119 highlights for the reader the importance of the word of God.
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.
Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD—Your salvation according to Your word.
This one chapter alone should convince every Jew and every Gentile of the importance of God’s word. It should also remind us that while not every chapter of the Bible is a literary masterpiece in construct, every chapter is a literary masterpiece in content.
What heartache could be spared by heeding God’s word; what errors could be avoided by heeding God’s word; what pain could be averted by heeding God’s word. Sadly, however, man loves to interpret and cut and paste portions of God’s word and simply ignore others.
No example of this is greater than the Old Testament misunderstanding of the meaning of the election of the Jews as God’s chosen people. Their misinterpretation is this, that the election of the Jews meant the rejection of the Gentiles. However, the word of God says differently.
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
2 Samuel 22:50
“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.”
“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”
“For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts.
From the time of Moses in Deuteronomy to the time of David in 2 Samuel to the time of Isaiah and the prophets and right up to the time of the 400 years of silence that followed the ministry of the prophet Malachi, God was telling the Jews He was going to save the Gentiles.
A study of God’s word would have told every Rabbi and Jew not to pray, as many did and still do each day, Baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam, she-loh asani goy – “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has not made me a Gentile.” This is the product of the errant thought that the election of the Jews meant the rejection of the Gentiles. In actuality, the Jews were supposed to reach the Gentiles, not shun them.
Sadly, many Christians today seem to think that the Jews are right, and that being a Jew is the ultimate way to be pleasing to God. If one celebrates the Feast Days and practices dietary restrictions and basically lives like the Jews as a Gentile Christian, it makes you a better follower of God.
Again, a careful study of the majestic pages of Scripture would remind every Christian:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Remember the Jews boasted to Jesus that they have Abraham as their father. The descendants of Ishmael could make that same claim. If you want to get right down to it, technically Abraham was a Gentile (a Chaldean) and so was Isaac (Gentile meaning non-Jew). It was only when the Lord renamed Jacob as Israel that there was even such a thing as an Israelite (only after the Babylonian captivity did they become known as Jews).
Think about it, Adam was a Gentile, Enoch was a Gentile (who had the reputation that he pleased God), and Noah was a Gentile. After the flood when the earth was well-populated again, God chose the Jews to be the people group through whom He would show the world their need for a Savior by giving them a Law they couldn’t keep. He also chose them as the people through whom would come the Savior of the world.
Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, the inspired and infallible word of God focuses not on what your ethnicity or nationality is. Rather, it asks whether you believe God and from His word know that you are a sinner and that God has supplied a Savior?
Jews need to recognize that God has always intended to save the Gentiles, and Gentiles need to remember you don’t obtain God’s favor by acting like the Jews.
The important thing to do is to follow after and live for Jesus no matter what nationality you may be. After all:
1 John 2:1-2
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus